After seeing cash-rich leagues being launched in cricket, badminton, hockey, with tennis and football in the pipeline, the next sport to join the bandwagon in India is kabaddi. The two-month event called Pro Kabaddi League will be played in July and August and involve eight city franchises.

Slated to start on July 22 in Bangalore, the teams will play on a home-away format. The auction will take place in June. The eight cities are: Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bangalore, Patna and Pune.

Interestingly, the states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh where kabaddi is extremely popular have not been included.

Scope for more cities
"The main requirement was to have the necessary stadiums and facilities to hold an event of this magnitude. These major cities have that. We can always include more cities if there is interest," said commentator Charu Sharma who is involved with this league.

In total 96 players will be auctioned, of which 72 will be Indian and rest international. Each team will have a roster of 12 players with nine of them being Indian and remaining three foreigners.

Speaking about the auction, Sharma said, "There will be auction only in the first year with players signing a two-year contract and then an open season."